Firehouse Building Project – TradesNKY Explorations Project

Week 4 of our four part project based learning series with the the Camel Construction Crew, a Campbell County Middle School club, was a tremendous success. During the final week of this program students were able to apply all the skills they learned in order to build “firehouses” for local Northern Kentucky Fire Departments. Building and donating them to local Fire Departments offered students a chance to see how their new skills could be used in service to local communities.

About Firehouses, officially called “Palmer’s Dollhouses”

Fire or burn houses, officially called Palmer’s Dollhouses after the firefighter whom invented them, are a valuable training tool used by firefighters. The Palmer’s Dollhouse is a live fire training prop that simulates how fire spreads throughout a building based on the number and location of exterior openings such as windows or doors. Training with these firehouses helps firefighters develop a more realistic understanding of what they call “the flow path” in a safe setting.

Understanding how a fire moves through a building is a critical way firefighters can do their job as safely as possible, which ultimately saves lives! They are used by fire departments, throughout North America, in order to train on vital skills such as communication, ventilation tactics, thermal imaging camera operations, and smoke reading including understanding the color, velocity, density & volume of smoke.

Local NKY Fire Departments Request 40 Palmer’s Dollhouses

859 BoardUp, a division of AnyWeather Restoration, has been building Palmer’s Dollhouses for Cincinnati area fire departments for several years. Local Northern Kentucky fire departments had mentioned they could use up to 40 Palmer’s Dollhouses for training.

As charter sponsors of TradesNKY, we often work with the AnyWeather companies and they informed us of the fire departments’ request. This led to two coordinated project based learning events…

Campbell County Area Technology Center Builds Palmer’s Dollhouses

The first of these events involved the The Campbell County Area Technology Center (ATC). The ATC can always use building materials in order to facilitate various educational projects for their students. TradesNKY, with the help of local construction companies like ABC Supply Co, provided the materials and resources for the ATC to build Palmer’s Dollhouses.

In addition, the older ATC students were able to help with the 2nd firehouse building event that involved the Campbell County Middle School group, the Camel Construction Crew. The older ATC students are able to use table saws to cut the plywood for the younger middle school students.

Camel Construction Crew Builds Live Fire Training Props

A cornerstone to TradesNKY’s mission is to introduce the skilled trades to elementary school students (K-5th) and help middle school students (6th-8th) explore skills and opportunities within the trades. The firehouse build is a perfect example of the types of programs we create in order to facilitate exploration in the trades while also exemplifying one of our core values…giving back to the local Northern Kentucky communities.

As mentioned in the beginning of this article, the Camel Construction Crew firehouse building event was the culmination of a series of workshops that this middle school group had been working through during the past 3 weeks. Each week they learned how to use new skills and tools which ultimately taught them everything they needed to know in order to build a Palmer’s Dollhouse.

Below is a video highlighting this TradesNKY explorations event…

TradesNKY would like to thank our friends, partners, sponsors and volunteers that made this event possible through donating their time and/or material resources. Special thanks to Aaron Caudill & The Camel Construction Crew, ATC Principal Franzen, and Principal Moore & Campbell County Middle School for allowing us to help prepare the next generation of skilled working Men and Women.

Alexandria Fire Department, Wilder, Point Pleasant Fire Protection District…all the NKY Fire Departments that helped – volunteering / mentoring

Campbell County Area Technology Center – material preparation, volunteering / mentoring

ABC Supply Co. Inc. – donating plywood

AnyWeather Restoration & 859 Board Up – donating materials, projects, and volunteering / mentoring

AnyWeather Roofing and AnyWeather Heating & Air – volunteering / mentoring